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Reflections: If I Hadn’t Moved From Lean Manufacturing to Lean Healthcare

Reflections: If I Hadn’t Moved From Lean Manufacturing to Lean Healthcare

I just got back from Japan last night and I’m going to take it easy during this Thanksgiving week. Rest and family time are high priorities, of course, as I’m sure they are for many of you. I will be reflecting a lot on my trip and I’ll be writing more posts about the trip […]

By November 24, 2014 4 Comments Read More →
Is “The Jerk” Good at Problem Solving?

Is “The Jerk” Good at Problem Solving?

Four years ago, I parodied the style of GEICO commercial that they were running at the time with a “did you know that Steve Martin’s character from The Jerk was bad at 5S?” The other day, I was thinking about the scene in the movie where Navin R. Johnson (Martin’s character) was working at a […]

By November 21, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
“Quality Circles” Are Alive & Well in Japanese Organizations; We Might Call it A3 Problem Solving

“Quality Circles” Are Alive & Well in Japanese Organizations; We Might Call it A3 Problem Solving

One question I was asked to ask during my Japan trip was to see if “Quality Circles” are still active in Japanese companies. I think the term was brought to the U.S. in the 1980s and 1990s, but generally wasn’t widely adopted for a number of reasons – probably due to management mindsets and organizational […]

By November 20, 2014 4 Comments Read More →
SAFETY – Question Your Assumptions

SAFETY – Question Your Assumptions

Mark’s note: Today’s guest post is by Brian Buck, a fellow lean healthcare  practitioner who blogged until about two years ago at his site “Improve With Me.”  Recently, I took my son to his primary care provider and the doctor asked if I would like a flu shot for my four year old son.  I […]

By November 19, 2014 2 Comments Read More →
Our Toyota Tour Guide’s Kaizen

Our Toyota Tour Guide’s Kaizen

We just finished our second day of our Kaizen Institute Japan Lean Tour and it’s been great so far. Follow us via the hashtag #KaizenTour on Twitter for more real-time updates. Monday afternoon, we visited Toyota’s Tsutsumi plant in Toyota City, where they produce Prius and Camry models. In the theme of being an “eco-factory” for […]

By November 18, 2014 7 Comments Read More →
Unclear on the Lean Concept: Gemba Walks

Unclear on the Lean Concept: Gemba Walks

Here’s the third cartoon collaboration with artist Carrie Howarth, CMA (AAMA), a workflow facilitator at a health system in Florida. See all of the cartoons here. More to come! This cartoon is not inspired by any particular incident or any real health system, but it was based off my random thought about what would happen IF a […]

By November 17, 2014 1 Comments Read More →
Follow our Japan Lean Healthcare Tour via Twitter

Follow our Japan Lean Healthcare Tour via Twitter

Konichiwa from Nagoya! Starting today, we have a group of 18 people here in Japan, including 13 doctors, some nurses, and healthcare senior leaders from around the world. I’ll eventually be blogging about aspects of the trip, but you can follow along in somewhat real time via Twitter this week. Mr Masaaki Imai now talks […]

By November 16, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
This Awesome Video Shows What Kaizen Looks Like at Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network

This Awesome Video Shows What Kaizen Looks Like at Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network

Thanks to my friend (and future co-author) Mike Stoecklein for sharing this video (and a blog post) about his Healthcare Value Network visit to Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network. The video shows many employees from many different departments at what they call an “ACT Fair” – an improvement fair where different departments highlight how they “act” to improve. […]

By November 14, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Must Listen: CBC Radio Piece on #Lean in Ontario, ThedaCare, and Saskatchewan

Must Listen: CBC Radio Piece on #Lean in Ontario, ThedaCare, and Saskatchewan

I was thankful to find this CBC Radio news story / podcast from the program “White Coat Black Art,” hosted by Dr. Brian Goldman: The Toyota Way for Healthcare It’s just under 30 minutes long and I think it’s a “must listen.” You can also get this through iTunes and your iOS device. Here are […]

By November 13, 2014 5 Comments Read More →
Video: Endoscopy Nurses are “Kaizen Crazy” at Franciscan St. Francis Health!

Video: Endoscopy Nurses are “Kaizen Crazy” at Franciscan St. Francis Health!

Today, I’m traveling to Tokyo, but I’m still thinking of the amazing nurses and leaders at Franciscan St. Francis Health in Indiana. Through my co-author Joe Swartz, the director of business transformation, their work is featured heavily in our book Healthcare Kaizen. I hope to share their examples and inspiration next week with our hosts and my […]

By November 12, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Traveling to Japan Tomorrow – What Questions Should I Ask?

Traveling to Japan Tomorrow – What Questions Should I Ask?

Tomorrow, I’m leaving for Japan and I’ll be with Kaizen Institute for our second Lean healthcare study tour (see a PDF about the trip). We have an incredibly diverse group, with attendees from the U.S., Canada, Denmark, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, and Singapore. We’re going to learn a lot about Japan and Lean and I’m […]

By November 11, 2014 7 Comments Read More →
Kaizen Makes People Smile

Kaizen Makes People Smile

Last Wednesday, I gave a presentation on Lean, Kaizen, and continuous improvement for healthcare at the Dutch Lean Event conference. The organizers said they want their event to be a “festival” with a fun atmosphere. They had a DJ (you read that right) playing lively music the whole time during networking breaks, even at 8:30 in […]

By November 10, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
KaiNexus Education Video #12: Use Data for Improvement

KaiNexus Education Video #12: Use Data for Improvement

About two years ago, we produced some short two- to three-minute education videos about Lean, Kaizen, and continuous improvement for KaiNexus. These were intended as short coaching sessions that would be sent to our customers / users and we’ve also shared them publicly. Here is video #12 in the series, with Dr. Greg Jacobson: Use […]

By November 7, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Guest Post: Organizations are Solving Problems; Are They Workarounds or Real Improvements?

Guest Post: Organizations are Solving Problems; Are They Workarounds or Real Improvements?

Mark’s note: Today’s post is a guest post by my friend and colleague Isaac Mitchell. We’ve crossed paths at conferences, including the annual Society for Health Systems conference, where he shared some of their great work on Kaizen that’s being done at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. Hopefully we’ll see you there in February with keynote […]

By November 6, 2014 6 Comments Read More →
“Lean Koffie” in The Netherlands; Smells & Tastes the Same as Our “Coffee”

“Lean Koffie” in The Netherlands; Smells & Tastes the Same as Our “Coffee”

Back in September, I wrote about our most recent “Lean Coffee” gathering in San Antonio, where people from different healthcare organizations talked about their improvement efforts. As part of my visit to The Netherlands this week, Marc Rouppe van der Voort (pictured below with me), arranged a gathering of healthcare improvement professionals who participate in their […]

By November 5, 2014 4 Comments Read More →
Guest Post: Standardized Work is for Leaders, Not Just Assembly Lines

Guest Post: Standardized Work is for Leaders, Not Just Assembly Lines

Mark’s note: Today’s post is by David Meier, a former Toyota group leader, and co-author of the excellent books The Toyota Way Fieldbook and Toyota Talent: Developing Your People the Toyota Way. He is currently working on a project to renovate and re-open a Kentucky distillery. I’ve learned a ton from David and I’m happy […]

By November 4, 2014 1 Comments Read More →
A Week in The Netherlands

A Week in The Netherlands

This week, I’ll be in The Netherlands for the first time since my visit in 2009. I was invited that first time by Marc Rouppe van der Voort to visit St. Elisabeth Hospital (where he worked at the time) and to speak at a conference. This is where I first heard about their concept of […]

By November 3, 2014 1 Comments Read More →
What I’m Listening To: Atul Gawande, Toyota’s Jeff Miller, Eric Ries

What I’m Listening To: Atul Gawande, Toyota’s Jeff Miller, Eric Ries

I’ve occasionally had a “What I’m Reading” post, where I share links to articles that I’ve enjoyed that don’t necessarily merit a whole blog post. Today is about “What I’m Listening To” — podcasts that I’ve heard and want to share (beyond the episodes I have created for my own podcast series, which will be […]

By October 31, 2014 1 Comments Read More →